Jeff Guy is a Hall of Fame baseball player from Lipscomb University who has never strayed far from the game he loves. He was inducted into the Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. He has enjoyed a strong connection with Lipscomb and commends athletic director Philip Hutcheson for his work in bringing the older former Lipscomb athletes back into the program. Guy is director of operations for the University of Georgia baseball team. Despite all of the time demands that surround the beginning of the 2015 season Guy was able to talk with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play baseball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 1978-81. My position was first base. Ken Dugan was my coach. My first two years Curtis Putnam and Roy Pardue were assistant coaches. Then Al Austelle came in my junior and senior years."
What influenced your decision to stay in Nashville and attend Lipscomb?
"My high school coach at McGavock was Mel Brown and he played for Ken Dugan. As a high school baseball player in Nashville at that time and reading the newspapers every day Lipscomb was in the paper every day and Vanderbilt and Tennessee weren't.
"Lipscomb was a good place for me to be. There were good people there."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"Winning the NAIA National Championship in 1979. I have been fortunate to coach in Omaha (College World Series) and was fortunate enough to play at Lipscomb. Winning a national championship is difficult to do in any sport at any level.
"We went to the National Championship all four years I was there. But winning it all was a special moment. When we won in 1979 it was at Greer Stadium where the Nashville Sounds played. That made it huge too. At the time it was the largest crowd ever for an NAIA World Series.
"It is not often that you get to go to a World Series, much less four."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Naturally I would say Ken Dugan. If you missed a class or weren't doing well in a class we heard about it. He stayed on top of us.
"We had a mutual respect for each other. We had our times. We definitely had different personalities. But he definitely kept me in line. There is no doubt.
"He coached hard. I played hard. That is how we got along."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"It is the people who make up Lipscomb. It was different than going to McGavock High School in the 1970s. At the time, Lipscomb was smaller than my high school in terms of students. In 1975 it was the biggest high school in the Southeast.
"People were so nice at Lipscomb. The education was outstanding. They were very excited about the baseball program. When we played Vandy, Tennessee or Belmont the place was packed."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I would say in my profession and what I chose to do it would be the discipline and the Christian values. I learned the discipline it takes to be a good coach or a good person.
"You can still be successful and not have to be like the ways of the world. You can still be successful by being a good person and treating people the right way. I don't think I would have had those principles instilled in me if I hadn't gone to a school like Lipscomb.
"I was very fortunate to coach on the high school and college level. I have been very blessed."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Mack Wayne Craig. He was a good and fair teacher. I enjoyed his classes. I took as many of his Bible classes as I could.
"Coach Tom Hanvey. I majored in health and physical education. Coach Hanvey was a jewel. He was a lot of fun in class.
"And, of course, there was no one better than Don Meyer. Having him for class was educational and also some of the most fun I had in class. He could tell some of the funniest jokes and the whole classroom would break down in tears and he would be stone-faced looking at everybody.
"He was a big baseball guy. He came to all of the baseball games. When I got inducted into the hall of fame I had not talked with Coach Meyer in 25 years. And I got a card at my house congratulating me. That was the kind of guy he was."
What was it like to be named to the Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame?
"It was quite an honor, especially to be with the players from all of the sports that were outstanding. To know that someone went back in the records to see what you did and then decided to name you to the Hall of Fame means a lot."
Where do you live now?
"They were recruiting teachers for Georgia. It was hard to get a teaching job In Nashville. I went to a place called Forest Park, Georgia and 33 years later I am still in Georgia. My first coaching job was at Forest Park High School (won 1985 state championship) and then I coached at Lassiter High School in Marietta (1986-1991).
"I moved to Columbus College for a year and Georgia Tech for nine years (served as hitting coach and Georgia Tech led the ACC in hitting seven seasons and also went with them to the 1994 College World Series). And then I ran the park at East Cobb Baseball for 12 years (he coached there for more than 20 years, helping to win 25 national championships). This is my second year at the University of Georgia."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"The University of Georgia. I am the Director of Baseball Operations. I always say that just means I do everything the head coach doesn't want to do.
"I work with the budget, travel plans, food, equipment and the everyday running of a baseball game from the field being ready to the lights.
"I sit beside Coach Scott Stricklin at every game. I go to every practice. I really enjoy being here. It is a great place to be."
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Kathleen, went to law school at the University of Georgia. I have a daughter, Abigail that is a junior in high school.
"Our son, Garrett, is at Ole Miss. He is 19."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.